Merry Christmas!

With so many atrocities going on around the world, it’s difficult to remain unaffected. There’s only so much one can avoid listening to the news or reading something on the internet that will not refer somehow to the ongoing events around the world.

The challenge then becomes to not become angry or upset or worse, hopeless.

It’s so hard to not get upset when a 20-year old man kills 27 people out of which 20 are 6 or 7 year old children. Details here. How can I not be upset?

It’s so hard to not be angry when a young medical student is gang-raped ruthlessly, in the most monstrous manner and thrown out of a moving bus in the capital city of the world’s largest democracy. Details here. How can I not be angry?

I realize a single person cannot change the whole world. The only world I can change is the one I create for myself and everyone around me. It took a lot of talking, and arguing whenever any of these topics came up. It’s personal. How can it not be personal? Am I not human? Are these people not human?

What did I do to remain hopeful and to not lose faith? Something absolutely ridiculously obvious. I went out to the mall on the last Sunday before Christmas. Yes, there was absolutely no place to park and the mall was uber packed with people. People rushing last minute to get their shopping done, kids playing in the small play area carelessly, and some more kids and adults waited in line to take pictures with mall Santa Claus.

As I stood there observing, I felt joy within myself. The smiles that the mall Santa Claus brought on the children’s faces was overwhelming. I let myself get drenched in the excitement that resonated throughout the mall. It was necessary for my own sake.

I walked out from the mall (yes, I did cave in and shopped a bit) with a much lighter heart.

It’s Christmas time. One of the best times of the year in North America.

I will pray. I will hope for a miracle. I will keep the faith. And I urge you to do the same.

Merry Christmas!

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. ~ Luke 17:21

To my four mothers…

Yes. To the four mothers.

First, the biological mother or the adoptive mother (The Mata, Maa): the one who gives birth to you. She is the one who bring you in this world and looks after you until you no longer need her (or that’s what you think!)

Second, the Mother Land (The Matrubhoomi): the country, the land that you are born in; The one who gives you an identity beyond your family.

Next, the Adopted Land (The Karma bhoomi ): the one that you move to; the country where you live, earn and settle.

Finally, Mother Nature (The Shakti, The Creative Power of the Universe): the power, the energy that allows all of the above to exist in herself.

It’s such a big deal to be a mother: To be the one to conceive, to give birth, to create another life form. Inexplicable.

Appreciating parents is a major part of the Indian culture. How honestly are we doing so is something that is a debatable topic. Either way, hailing from this culture, I know what the status of biological parents is in a person’s life.

The idea of Matrubhoomi was introduced to me when I was a lot younger whilst watching Mahabharat on Doordarshan. A person owes loyalties, has a duty towards the land that he or she is born in.

The same is true for Karmabhoomi. One also has a duty towards the adopted land. Moving to another country has its perks. So if you intend to enjoy the perks, you should also make sure that a sense of duty is also involved. It is part of ethical living.

And of course there is Mother Nature. Most people think of Mother Nature when there are storms brewing or something out of human control occurs. When everything is running ‘normally’, no one seems to think about Her. It is not news how majorly humans have messed up this beautiful blue planet. I think it’s high time, we show some appreciation in this aspect as well.

Having said all of this, I don’t think just one day is enough to show a mother how appreciated she is. So make sure, the next time you see or think about any one of these mothers…say a little prayer of gratitude. She deserves it.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Cricket’s darkest day

That is the headline of the Herald Sun. In what comes across as an attack on the world of Sports, media from all over the world are coming out with gory details of another terror attack.

My hands were shaking as I was trying to turn the T.V on after receiving the news of the attack. Watching videos of the Lankan team being airlifted from the center of a Cricket stadium was quite surreal. As I heard the names of the players being hit, chills went down my spine when I realised that it could have been an attack on the Indian team instead. It now comes across as a super wise decision of not following up on the planned tour prior to 26/11.

Watching the news and the constant updates, one thing kept crossing my mind over ‘n over again. Here now begins the blame game. It will now be said that India is trying to avenge attacks on its soil. And guess what? That’s exactly what happened. India was blamed for the attacks on the Sri Lankan team. Totally illogical blame. But nothing better expected from the accusers.

Thankfully, the Sri Lankan players are now all back to their homeland. All safe and sound physically with minor injuries, but understandably mentally very shaken.

Apart from the attack on Israeli atheletes, I do not remember a sport being the target of such insanity.

We live in a world where there are no guarantees. An everyday person seems to have no say in the issues affecting his or her self directly. A veil of helplessness appears on the face of each person who is suffering from the craziness that is terror.

This is not just a local problem. It is a global problem. The violence needs to stop.

When will this madness end?

I am sick and tired of hearing things like ‘war on terror’, ‘fight violence’. I see no results. I am beginning to believe that there has to be another way to deal with this.

Today, Cricket in the Indian subcontinent is in the grip of fear. What does tomorrow hold?

Weird how certain things happen. Today’s fortune on my orkut profile says :

Choose to experience peace rather than conflict.

I am trying my best…Believe me…I am…

We challenge the culture of violence when we ourselves act in the certainty that violence is no longer acceptable, that it’s tired and outdated no matter how many cling to it in the stubborn belief that it still works and that it’s still valid. ~Gerard Vanderhaar

The reason…

For the longest time, after the terror attacks, I had been wondering as to how come I lost sleep over it. There have been so many terror attacks in India before but there hadn’t been a time when I could not sleep.

Why was this different?

It dawned on me the other night, whilst I lay in my bed. The reason was this attack lasted nearly 60 hours. It was telecasted live on news channels. I believe that led to such a huge impact. Never before had a terror attack been witnessed live by millions of people around the world. Never before had people witnessed the extreme horror that had shaped up in those hours. Upsetting horror, and tragic scenes have engulfed the people who escaped the attack in Mumbai.

The whole idea of terrorism has ceased to be something to be taken lightly. Now, people have realised the urgency for reforms.

There’s so much that needs to be done. All the dirty politics needs to be gotten rid of. Then again, India is quite a corrupt country. I wonder how far will the reform movement go before they are eaten up by the corrupt.

All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field. ~Albert Einstein

The feeling…

Today, as I’ve been doing since Nov 26, I woke up and turned on the TV first thing in the morning. My thoughts have been so overcome by this event that it is all I think about when I am doing nothing major. Sucks, really. So much negativity.

All the questions like where is our respected President? Why hasn’t she said a word??Doesn’t she owe the people of India even a word of consolation? I am convinced that if it was Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam in office right now, he would have come forward for the people. I don’t see any big names in politics showing their face. Actually, it is good in a way. Cos if they do, they are going to be really taken over by angry Indians.

Anyway, so I woke up to watch the India Today group taking oath to end terror in India. The same went out for all the major cities when thousands of people gathered to show that they are not going to take it anymore. Kudos to them. About time.

I may have mentioned before how this incident had resulted in me being sleepless for a couple of nights. I could not sleep. And I talked to family and got some help. But today, something really astonishing happened.

As I listened to people being interviewed as they gathered in the cities, I could hear my own thoughts through them. Every single thing that they said was the thing that went through my mind as well. Then they showed a script of what Sachin Tendulkar had said. Every single word that was on the screen was exactly how I felt as well. He could not sleep either.

It didn’t take long for it all to dawn on me. Something big had changed within everyone of us. We were all now connected with a common feeling of ‘enough is enough’.

Now that this feeling has gained speed, I hope the hideous politics will give way to an empowered India. I want PEACE. But not at the price of innocent lives. It is just not right.

I will stand for PEACE. In fact, I already am.

We have all taken risks in the making of war. Isn’t it time that we should take risks to secure peace? ~J. Ramsay MacDonald

Still…

Trying to come to terms with what has happened. It is not as if this is the first terror attack in India. But something is different this time. It has impacted a lot of people more than ever before.

The feeling is the same everywhere : This HAS to STOP NOW!

As I am looking into ways of centering myself in peace and then acting out instead of acting out in anger or fear, I realise I am not the only one. And it is a heartening feeling.

We all need to stand up as one. United for PEACE. Something good HAS to happen. And it WILL happen.

Keep up the positive vibes!!

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~Author Unknown

Looking for Peace…

When I did my last post, I hadn’t thought that my next update would be about something so immensely tragic and so heartbreaking. Yes, I am talking about the recent terror attack in Mumbai.

On November 26, 2008, we, the world, witnessed another horrifying ordeal in Mumbai. I don’t think I need to go into the details about what happened. There are others who have given brilliant coverage on this horrifying event that lasted nearly 60 hours.

R.I.P the victims of the Mumbai massacre.

A hearty Thank You to the Indian army, commandos and NSG. You’ve made every Indian very proud.

So why am I doing a post similar to thousands of other bloggers? One reason : Action.

How long are we supposed to make frantic phone calls to a major city anywhere in the world when terror strikes? Like a lot of other people, I, too, know people who live in major cities around the world. It’s high time for all these atrocities to end.

Like Eckhart Tolle rightly said, terrorism cannot be eradicated by launching a war on terror. Doing so, in turn, gives energy to terrorism. In the words of Deepak Chopra, “War on terror is an oxymoron.” Working against something is not going to help us win anything. Humanity will have to unite and work FOR peace.

I know it is not easy to avoid violent when terror strikes home. I also realise that it is not easy to not be angry, really angry with the terrorists.

But we need to raise the vibes of peace. We need to all start lighting candles of peace to eradicate the darkness of violence. We all need to raise our voice for PEACE.

The universal Shanti mantra:

Om sarveshaam swastir bhavatu
Sarveshaam shantir bhavatu

Sarveshaam poornam bhavatu
Sarveshaam mangalam bhavatu

Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
Sarve santu niraamayaah

Sarve bhadraani pashyantu
Maakaschit duhkha bhaag bhavet

Meaning:

Auspiciousness (swasti) be unto all; peace (shanti) be unto all;
fullness (poornam) be unto all; prosperity (mangalam) be unto all.

May all be happy! (sukhinah)
May all be free from disabilities! (niraamayaah)

May all look (pashyantu)to the good of others!
May none suffer from sorrow! (duhkha)

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih!